Installation within the Cité Internationale Universitaire of Paris, inside university restaurant of « Maison Internationale, » renovation by scop d'architecture fair for Crous de Paris | permanent installation
Pigments and acrylic on walls, various dimensions, 2018
On the walls of the arched volume of this restaurant, I have drawn the extracted shapes of the different civilizations through all over the world and time: Ireland (XXth century), France (Ist and XVIIIth century), Ethiopia (XIXth century) and Islam (Xth century). Dissimilar within their shapes, origins and vocations, these daily life objects are parts of every day cultural transmission. These are here assembled within a place dedicated to meals, necessary to live, common in all civilizations, though so specific to each people, related to their exchanges and their landscapes. Under the same color, the distance of remote nations is abolished, creating a link and formal relationship. My aims are to generate by these blue cutting shapes, a dialog with this architecture, its history and its vocation, “a place where young peoples from all over the world, at the age they can build deep and solid friendships, could meet so as to know and appreciate each other” (Emile Honnorat, 1919).
The building was built by Lucien Bechmann and Jens Frédérick Larson in 1936, taking its references within the tradition of the French castles. But, hidden beside its classical façades, are arched spaces of a “common home”. During the renovation of this space, "fair" architects wished to refine the cultural and popular spirit of the 1930’s : the birth of the Abstraction-Creation artist group “Esprit” magazine, Henri Matisse’s execution of « La Danse, » Marcel Griaule’s ethnographic research on the Dogon tribes published while Picasso or Paul Eluard were working on their masterpieces. The rise of totalitarianism came ahead whereas intellectual bubbling and multidisciplinary exchanges were nourishing artists’ creations: the Cité international Universitaire students were discovering a world which opened up in all its diversity and its contradictions.